Belarus' Vasil Kiryienka of the Movistar team won the 20th and penultimate stage of the Tour of Italy here on Saturday, with Spaniard Alberto Contador retaining the overall leader's pink jersey.
Contador, riding for the Saxo Bank team, was not worried during the final mountain stage, a gruelling 242km run with just Sunday's 26km time trial in Milan. The Spaniard finished 5min 58sec off the Belarus climber and now enjoys a 5:18 lead over Italian Michele Scarponi in the overall standings.
Kiryienka was part of a breakaway at 29km and cut loose to produce a masterful ascent of the stage's two climbs, the precipitous Colle delle Finestre and the ride up to the alpine ski resort of Sestriere. "It's a great day for the team," said Kiryienka after finishing in 6hr 17min 03sec. "We wanted to put in a great race in order to pay hommage to Xavi Tondo," killed in a freak accident on Monday when he was crushed between his car and a garage door at a ski resort in southern Spain as he prepared for training for the Tour de France.
Tondo had only signed for Movistar at the start of the season after an impressive 2010 campaign with Cervelo TestTeam. "At the finish line I put my glasses on so people couldn't see the tears flowing. I am very, very happy with my achievement," he said.